Queensland Government Media Releases

Palaszczuk Government funding helps secure new jobs and bright future for Qld startup

June 03, 2017

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Palaszczuk Government funding helps secure new jobs and bright future for Qld startup

Palaszczuk Government funding is helping a clean-energy small business power ahead with plans to expand globally - and create 75 new jobs on top of the 13 full-time staff already added to their project team.

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said Brisbane’s Elevare Energy is achieving great results turning a ‘smart idea into smart batteries’.

Speaking from Elevare’s head office at Enoggera today (Saturday), Ms Enoch said the company has already signed up 10 Queensland customers to trial the batteries.

“The Palaszczuk Government is helping to ignite innovation through Advance Queensland funding, and Elevare Energy is just one example of a small business making great advances in developing a product for market readiness,” Ms Enoch said.

“So far, 119 businesses throughout the state have shared in close to $16.5 million funding from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas program, which is designed to help small businesses bring their innovative products to market.

“Because many startups and businesses can struggle with developing early-stage ideas due to lack of funding support and dedicated development focus, we are giving them a financial helping hand”.

Elevare is developing smart batteries to help businesses reduce electricity costs, and aims to potentially provide power to developing countries like India and China, as well as Africa.

The company’s executive director Richard Romanowski said the $250,000 received in the first funding round of the Palaszczuk Government’s Ignite Ideas program has helped take their innovative product to the next level.

“We have been developing our smart battery management technology for nearly five years and are now moving to commercial trials,” Mr Romanowski said.

“The technology is very complex but thanks to Advance Queensland funding we’re seeing some real results.

“We’re planning to launch our smart batteries right across Australia in 2018 and open a sales office in China, the USA and Europe.

“Our head office is in Brisbane and we expect that over the next one to two years we’ll need to employ 75 people – on top of the 13 new full-time jobs already created – to cater for plans to expand and undertake low volume manufacturing from our Brisbane complex.”

Llewellyn Motors Ipswich is the first of the 10 customers to trial the smart battery over six months to reduce electricity costs at their Toyota, Holden, Hyundai and Subaru dealerships in Ipswich.

“We are pleased to be part of this innovation and thank the Queensland Government for their support to reduce our commercial energy costs and carbon footprint," said General Manager James Sturges.

Mr Romanowski and his colleagues Dale Butler and Dr Bevan Holcombe founded Elevare Energy in 2012. It already sells traditional rooftop solar for commercial buildings.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to a clean energy economy and future.

“Energy is undergoing a change in the way it is generated, transported, and used, and battery storage will play a big part in this transformation,” Mr Bailey said.

“It is pleasing to see the wave of innovation in this space supported by the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to increasing the uptake of renewable energy.”

Along with funding from the Palaszczuk Government, the venture has also received support from Griffith University and Central Queensland University.

Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government's $405 million whole-of-government initiative. Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas is designed to help early-stage, high-growth potential businesses achieve scale and profitability.

Visit the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund webpage for more information on the program and its recipients.